From Saline to the Caldwell University Athletics Hall of Fame
Saline native and SHS grad Susan McDonough is receiving a great honor from her college alma mater, Caldwell University, where she was a standout, record-setting volleyball player.
McDonough was recently selected to the Caldwell University Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2023. She starred for Caldwell volleyball from 2008-12.
She will be among the inductees in a ceremony on Sept. 22. Located in New Jersey, this private Catholic university’s Athletic program sponsors 14 sports at the NCAA Division II level, including: baseball, women's and men's basketball, bowling, women's and men's cross country, women's and men's lacrosse, women's and men's soccer, softball, women's and men's track and field, and volleyball; plus acrobatics & tumbling and sprint football.
The Caldwell University Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2023 inductees are: Robert Casal, Baseball, Class of 2010; Brook DeLucca, Women's Soccer, Class of 2007; Susan McDonough, Volleyball, Class of 2013; Manny Perez, Men’s Basketball, class of 2009 and Jackie Velardi, Softball, class of 2007.
"We have not been able to hold a Hall of Fame induction since 2019, but this class is worth the wait," said Mark A. Corino, Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics in the announcement from the university. "The student-athletes represent a cross-section of sports and all were high achievers in the classrooms and the playing fields. We couldn't be more proud of what they have accomplished, and we hope that many of their family, friends and classmates will be on hand on September 22 to join us in celebrating this high honor.”
The Sun Times News (STN) reached out to McDonough to ask how she feels about this honor.
“To be honest it’s not something I expected or even thought about during my time at Caldwell, but I’m truly thankful and honored to be recognized with such great athletes before me,” said McDonough. “I feel the team I was a part of for four years is just as deserving for this recognition and I’m happy I can be a representative of that time where the volleyball program truly took a jump towards the strong program it is today.”
According to Caldwell Athletics, McDonough was a two-time all-CACC (Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference) First Team and AVCA all-East Region selection, registering 373 kills and 516 digs in her senior year and helped Caldwell win CACC Tournament titles in 2010 and 2011, earning tournament MVP honors both seasons. A four-year starter, McDonough was the CACC Co-Rookie of the Year in 2009 and CACC and ECAC Player of the Year in 2011. She graduated as the Cougars' all-time leader in kills with 1,226, and second with 1,472 digs.
She currently lives in Maryland with her husband Rob, son JJ, and their dog Jax. She’s a high school math teacher, which she said allows her to continue her love for volleyball and coach the varsity girls' volleyball team.
In thinking about the honor and what went into her achievements, STN asked her if there was anyone she wanted to thank for the help and support along the way.
“I want to thank my family for all the years of time and traveling for me to play club volleyball,” she answered. “Then making the nine-hour drives to New Jersey to watch me play in college. I also want to thank my teammates for pushing me to be the best player to even be nominated for this honor.”